A Scientist driven mad by his own desires and evil depravity! Zombies, giants, and horrible powers of the mind at his disposal! The world on its knees! And a stalwart group of Twelve led by an intrepid Police Detective stand as the only thing between this lunatic and world domination! All of this and more is what readers of Pulps in the early 20th Century thrilled and chilled to in stories written by Harold Ward under the mysterious nom de guerre Zorro! These were the tales of Doctor Death!
Listeners today will find just as much horror and adventure in Doctor Death as they are presented as audiobooks as a part of Will Murray’s Pulp Classics! Brought to chilling life by the fantastic reading provided by Joey D’Auria, the heroic adventure of Jimmy Holm and his team as well as the true horror of the mad Doctor Death keeps listeners coming back for more and leaves goosebumps at the end of every chapter.
Translating a classic Pulp Tale to a modern Audiobook is exciting enough. That challenge becomes even greater when the lead character in the story is not the dashing hero rushing into save the day, but instead the insane villain of the piece. This sort of story requires a special talent, someone who can easily move back and forth between the cruel machinations of Doctor Death and the desperate do-gooding of Jimmy Holm. Joey D’Auria is exactly the voice talent to do just that and much more.
“I have always been a huge fan of radio drama,” D’Auria stated. “In fact, back in the mid 1970’s in Los Angeles, my very good friend Roger Rittner and I created the Variety Arts Radio Theater, performing recreations of classic radio shows from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s on stage for a live audience. Our sound effects man did all our sound effects live and without recordings. We even recreated classic period radio commercials.”
Even when life pushed Joey other directions, he made his way back to audio. “When I was offered the job as WGN-TV’s Bozo the Clown in 1984, my family and I left L. A. for Chicago, and while there, in addition to working as Bozo the Clown, I also worked in stage productions and in TV and radio commercials. When the Bozo Show ended in 2001, my wife and I moved back to California, and in Hollywood, I returned to working in voice over and animation. One of my first jobs back in L. A. in 2002 was for the anime series Daigunder, in which I played Commissioner Spinklestarber.
In 2003,” D’Auria continued, “I was in Great Britain as the principle writer and show coordinator on Star Trek the Experience For See Entertainment in Hyde Park, London. Returning to the States, I became head writer and did occasional voices for Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures on PBS. And I also supplied assorted voices for Universal/Imagine’s “Curious George” (The Movie). From there I worked on War of the Worlds: Goliath for Tripod Entertainment and most recently was the voice of General Alister Azimuth for Insomniac Games Ratchet & Clank Future – A Crack in Time. Today most of my work is for video games.”
Signing on as one of the voices of Will Murray’s Pulp Classics, Joey brought his own knowledge and experience with Pulp to the table. “When I was a kid,” he related, “a friend’s father had a huge pulp collection stashed inside the family’s fallout shelter in the back yard. My friend and I would spend lazy summer days sequestered down there eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and reading Amazing Stories, Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow and several other collections whose names I don’t remember. However, the thing that really drew me into “The Pulps” was the fantastic artwork on the covers.”
Joey sees Pulp today as just as attractive for modern readers and listeners today as it was for him as a child. When asked what appeal Pulp tales like ‘Doctor Death’ might have for fans today, he stated, “The same things that no doubt appealed to the audiences of the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s! Action, adventure, thrills! Momentary escapism into a fantastic world where anything is possible!”
That escapism is something that D’Auria definitely enjoys about his work on Doctor Death. “The Doctor Death stories are marvelous period melodrama. For starters, you have tough talking 1930’s detectives and they are coming up against a world of mad scientists and occult creatures. Here the heroes are 100% patriotic, noble and forthright – even the notorious uncrowned king of the underworld Tony Caminetti steps up and puts all criminal activity in the USA on hold for the good of the country.”
The cast that D’Auria has to work with in his reading of this Pulp series is definitely varied and interesting. He explained, “It’s true the stories are all centered on Doctor Death and his insane schemes, but we also have a lot of wonderful characters who are integral to each Doctor Death plot. I approach my reading by not just telling the story – but by attempting to breathe life into all the assorted characters that people this world.”
Joey admits, however, that even as grand as the heroes are, he finds just as much amusement in playing the lead role. “The madly deranged Doctor Death,” D’Auria added, “brings to the party a delightfully unrepentant mad scientist who wants to take over the world and doesn’t care how many people he has to kill to do it! Doctor Death is a wonderful villain . . . and I must confess that I really miss him when he doesn’t show up in a chapter to spread his special brand of whimsical malevolence. So, I guess you could say the most fun for me in reading these stories is playing Doctor Death!”
D’Auria believes that listeners to the Will Murray Pulp Classics audiobooks will be drawn to the same aspects of the stories as fans of the original Pulp tales were, particularly the action. “The beauty of the pulps is that they don’t short-change the reader on action and excitement. And it’s that same action and excitement that also makes them such wonderful material for us readers. All of the other readers (many of whom are old friends of mine) are fine actors and each brings his or her own special talents to each of their stories.”
Joey D’Auria definitely plans to keep going with Doctor Death as long as the dastardly doctor is a part of the Will Murray Pulp Classics line up, but he also wouldn’t mind reliving some of his childhood Pulp favorites as a reader as well. “I would love to continue with the series. However, if I were to head into another direction – I guess I would have to confess to a desire for some old fashioned science fiction that harkens back to those days so long ago when I was reading stories like Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow down in my friend Peter’s fallout shelter.”
Will Murray’s Pulp Classics is proud to present Two Volumes of Doctor Death as read by the spectacularly talented Joey D’Auria. Get ’12 Must Die’ for $14.98 and the latest audibook “The Gray Creatures’ for $17.98! If you’re looking for the best in Audiobook and Pulp entertainment and a good villain to boot, then Doctor Death as performed by Joey D’Auria and presented by Will Murray’s Pulp Classics is exactly what you’re after!